Venezuelan President Maduro arrived in Beijing ahead of the Xi – Council meeting

BEIJING: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Beijing on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, state media reported, the final leg of a tour that began last week.

A television recording by the official Chinese Broadcasting Corporation CGTN showed Maduro and his wife getting off at a train station in Beijing where they were greeted by children carrying flowers.

While on a high-speed train bound for the Chinese capital, Maduro broadcast a message on Venezuelan television praising the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.

“We are leaving on a train bound for the Chinese capital, Beijing, to meet the future, to meet with our brother President Xi Jinping, to reach great agreements that further elevate the historic relationship revived by our commander Hugo Chavez, Maduro said on the show.

“We sacrificed sleep, resisted fatigue, but (we are) motivated by the great joy that working for the people of Venezuela brings us.”

Maduro, who landed in the southern city of Shenzhen on Friday, is expected to remain in China until Thursday on his first state visit to the country since 2018.

The 60-year-old leader is working to secure Venezuela membership in BRICS, a bloc of emerging nations.

Beijing is Venezuela’s main creditor and has close ties to the diplomatically isolated, inflation-ravaged socialist country.

Maduro last visited Beijing in 2018 – his 10th trip to China – where he praised Xi’s vision of a “shared destiny for mankind”. Xi also visited Venezuela in 2014.

Venezuelan President Maduro says he is seeking China’s help to join BRICS

China lent about $50 billion to Opec member Venezuela in the 2010s, with Caracas repaying the debt with shipments of oil, whose reserves are among the world’s largest.

In 2018, it owed Beijing $20 billion.

China has also provided extensive technological assistance to Venezuela as it expanded its control over its population, according to the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank.

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